Early life and education
Flack studied fine arts in New York from 1948 to 1953, studying under Josef Albers among others. She earned a graduate degree and received an honorary doctorate from Cooper Union in New York City, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Yale University. She studied art history at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.
- 1953 Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, New York, NY
- 1952 BFA, Yale University, New Haven, CT
- 1948-51 Cooper Union, New York, NY
Flack's early work in the 1950s was abstract; one such painting paid tribute to Franz Kline. The ironic kitsch themes in her early work influenced Jeff Koons. But gradually, Flack became a New Realist and then evolved into photorealism during the 1960s. She was the first photorealist painter to be added to the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in 1966.
The critic Graham Thompson wrote,
"One demonstration of the way photography became assimilated into the art world is the success of photorealist painting in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It is also called super-realism, radical realism, or hyper-realism and painters like Richard Estes, Chuck Close, and Audrey Flack as well, often worked from photographic stills to create paintings that appeared to be photographs."
Art critic Robert C. Morgan writes in The Brooklyn Rail about Flack's 2010 exhibition at Gary Snyder Project Space, Audrey Flack Paints a Picture, "She has taken the signs of indulgence, beauty, and excess and transformed them into deeply moving symbols of desire, futility, and emancipation."
Flack has claimed to have found the photorealist movement too restricting, and now gains much of her inspiration from baroque art.
Flack is currently represented by Gary Snyder Gallery. Her work is held in the collections of major museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, Australia.
She was awarded the St. Gaudens Medal from Cooper Union, and the honorary Albert Dome professorship from Bridgeport University. She is an honorary professor at George Washington University, is currently a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania and has taught and lectured extensively both nationally, and internationally.
In 1986 Flack published Art & soul: notes on creating, a book expressing some of her thoughts on being an artist.
Flack lives and works in New York City and Long Island.
Legacy and honors
- 2007 Honorary Ziegfeld Award, Keynote Speaker, National Art Education Association, New York City
- 2004 Honorary Doctorate, Lyme Academy of Art
- 1995-96 U.S. Government National Design for Transportation Award, presented by Jane Alexander, N.E.A. Chairman, and Federico Pena, Secretary of Transportation, awarded for the Rock Hill Gateway project
- 1994 Honorary Professor, George Washington University
- 1989-93 Member of the Board of Directors, College Art Association of America
- 1985 Artist of the Year Award, New York City Art Teachers Association
- 1982 Saint-Gaudens Medal, Cooper Union
- 1977 Cooper Union Citation and Honorary Doctorate
- 1974 Butler Institute of Art Award of Merit
Flack, Audrey, Thalia Gouma-Peterson, and Patricia Hills. Breaking the Rules: Audrey Flack, a Retrospective 1950-1990. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1992.
- "Audrey Flack papers, circa 1952-2008". Archives of American Art. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- "Biography". Audrey Flack. audreyflack.com. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- "Audrey Flack Biography". Jewish Virtual Library. American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- Thompson, Graham: American Culture in the 1980s (Twentieth Century American Culture), Edinburgh University Press, 2007
- Morgan, Robert C. (November 2010). "Audrey Flack and the Revolution of Still Life Painting". The Brooklyn Rail.
- Audrey Flack (1 October 1986). Art & soul: notes on creating. Dutton. ISBN 978-0-525-24443-1. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- Audreyflack.com - Official website
- "Audrey Flack: Breaking the Rules"
- Audrey Flack in the Indianapolis Museum of Art
- Audrey Flack in National Gallery of Victoria
- Audrey Flack exhibition, the Guggenheim Museum
- My Portrait of Anwar Sadat by Audrey Flack, Archives of American Art Blog, Smithsonian Institution